fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447017417083 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Hotmail, United Kingdom; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "COKE COMPANY" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2013 16:06:34 +0800
Subject: COCA COLA.
THE COCA COLA COMPANY PROMOTION/PRIZE AWARD
DEPT COCACOLA AVENUE STAMFORD BRIDGE LONDON.
SW11 5W UNITED KINGDOM
This is to inform you that you have won prize money of Nine Hundred And Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds (?950,000.00 GBP) for 2012 Prize promotion which is organized by COCA-COLA AWARD every (2) yrs.
COCA-COLA AWARD collects all the email addresses of the people that are active online, among the millions that subscribed to Yahoo mail, Gmail and few from other e-mail providers. Six people are selected every two years to benefit from this promotion and you are one of the Selected Winners.
PAYMENT OF PRIZE AND CLAIM
Winners shall be paid in accordance with his/her Settlement Center. COCA-COLA AWARD Prize Award must be claimed no later than 30th days, from date of Draw Notification. Any prize not claimed within this period will be forfeited.
Stated below are your identification numbers: Ticket Winning Number (UK/0147X4/74), Reference Lucky Number 014/070/AY7, and Serial Number. 8501-07
These numbers fall within the United Kingdom Location file, you are requested to contact our claim agent in United Kingdom and send your winning identification numbers to him:
Claim Agent Name: Dr. john Moore
You are advised to send the following information to your Claims Agent to facilitate the release of your fund to you.
1. Names in full: _______________________
2. Address: ___________________________
3. Country: ___________________________
4. Age: _______________________________
5. Gender /Marital: _____________________
6. Mobile Number_______________________
7. Occupation: _________________________
8. You¡¯re winning Email: _________________
Congratulations!!! Once again,
(Mrs.) Aston Edward
You may also receive similar e-mails from people portraying to be other Organizations of yahoo Inc. This is solely to collect your personal information from you and lay claim over your winning. In event that you receive any e-mail similar to the notification letter that was sent to you, kindly delete it from your mailbox and give no further correspondence to such person or body.